2013 – the year of change

Well, since everyone else on the planet is doing a 2013 recap, I figure I’ll join the party. I’ve read some pretty cool recaps so far, especially the one Dave Barry wrote a few days ago that had me nearly wetting myself with mirth (not to be confused with myrrh, which is a totally different thing and while it would make me smell odd, it could not match the smell of pee with which I very nearly wet myself reading Dave Barry’s 2013 in Review).

Dave Barry used the phrase “pathologically narcissistic sex weasels” to describe both Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner, both of whom attempted to revive their dead political careers by running for public office in New York. But even New Yorkers aren’t that stupid, and that’s saying something!

Dave also described Miley Cyrus as “this horrifying, mutant, half-naked and vaguely reptilian creature twerking all over the stage while committing unhygienic acts with both Robin Thicke and a foam finger, both of which we hope were confiscated by a Hazmat team.”

I love Dave Barry.

Our 2013 was a bit different. I’m not going to go into the plethora of political crap that set me off this year, because I really don’t want a brain hemorrhage before I toast 2014. Needless to say between the post-Newtown political kneejerking that had legisleeches all over the country look like they were all suffering from a contagious neurological disorder and the Boston Marathon bombing, the Trayvon Martin Hoodie Horde, the Syria crisis, the ObamaCare fiasco and the sequester and government shutdown that left us wondering if we were going to have to send the Redhead to a street corner to look cute and beg for money, it’s been a stressful 2013.

But 2013 wasn’t all bad. It was just odd. And different.

In June, Teeny (otherwise known as Sarah) graduated with an advanced degree from Washington-Lee High School. It was weird, knowing that the small 5 year old I took into my home sight unseen had grown into a responsible, wonderful young woman, whose ambition was to serve her country in the Marine Corps. She signed her enlistment paperwork shortly after having turned 18.

In April, we lost our cat Socks to cancer. Socks was a gift from my former boss in 2002. I remember sitting in my office, when my phone rang and the president of the company was on the line asking me if I had a cat. At that point I had two of them, but apparently Socks had wandered onto my boss’ property, and the latter made the mistake of feeding the stray boy, which made Socks stick around. But my boss’ son was allergic to animals, so my boss brought him in for me in a cardboard box.  Socks immediately climbed out of the box and made himself at home on top of my desk, sprawled out on my computer keyboard. He was immediately part of the family. In late March, Socks began bleeding rectally. Bright red blood. He was in pain, and I immediately took him to the vet. An oncologist found a mass in his rectum, and told me that even if she were to operate and take the mass out (a risky proposition for a senior cat), chances were it would likely come back. Socks was in pain. He couldn’t eliminate. He strained so hard, he pushed himself against walls and he bled.

In the end, I let him go.

socks

In March, Rob and I started talking about getting married. This wasn’t a decision we made lightly. Rob had never been married before, and my marriage… well… we don’t like to talk about that. *retreats to happy place* We didn’t tell anyone, because we didn’t want drama, so we decided to elope. To Vegas. I had made a couple of efforts to actually have one of my favorite entertainers of all time – Penn Jillette – officiate our wedding, but things didn’t work out quite like that. We still went to see the show, and took a photo with Penn. We were in the first row, and Rob actually got to participate in Teller’s red ball trick!

Penn

No, Penn didn’t perform our marriage ceremony, but it was cool as hell seeing the show again, and getting yet another photo with him. AND getting a Tweet from him later that night!

We wound up telling the kids about our marriage plans before we left. I didn’t feel it was right to surprise them with something so huge, because, after all, it was their family and their lives being affected too! To my surprise, they weren’t particularly shocked or upset that we had made plans without consulting them. They were genuinely happy for us, and I was getting text messages from the Redhead all day on July 13, asking me if we had done the deed yet!

Several weeks after we returned from Vegas, I left Rob with the kids and traveled to Germany for a five-week Russian language refresher course. It was quite brilliant! Not only did I get intensive language training every day, but I got to hike, climb mountains, drink incredible European coffee and see the opening of Oktoberfest, not to mention the weekend trip to Venice and Verona to see some of the world’s most incredible works of art!

Hike in the Alps

Hike in the Alps. Why yes, I did sweat like a canned ham! Why do you ask?

kreuznach

Just one look made me realize just how high I’d hiked! YIKES!

One of the old bridges in Venice.

One of the old bridges in Venice

One of the many canal alleys.

One of the many canal alleys in Venice

Roman arena in Verona. This was, unfortunately, the end of the opera season. I would have loved to have seen a performance there!

Roman arena in Verona. This was, unfortunately, the end of the opera season. I would have loved to have seen a performance there!

Juliet's house. Romeo and Juliet lived in Verona. Millions visit Juliet's house every day. It is said if you touch the breast of Juliet's statue in the courtyard, you will find success in your love life. No, I did not touch what has to be the world's dirtiest, germiest boob!

Juliet’s house. Romeo and Juliet lived in Verona. Millions visit Juliet’s house every day. It is said if you touch the breast of Juliet’s statue in the courtyard, you will find success in your love life. No, I did not touch what has to be the world’s dirtiest, germiest boob!

Did you think I was kidding about the boob?

Did you think I was kidding about the boob?

 

Ah! Verona!

Ah! Verona!

View from the other side of the bridge

View from the other side of the bridge

I could spend all day talking about the art and beauty I saw (and the vast amounts of wine I consumed) in Italy, but I won’t. It is enough to say that I really just want to go back for more.

A few weeks after I returned from Europe, Sarah shipped out to Marine Corps basic training. It was sort of bittersweet. I knew she would be fantastic. I knew she would succeed. And yet, there was this profound sense of loss, because the little child I’d raised and loved for 13 years was no longer a child, but a young woman who strove to be unique, dedicated and heroic.

Just as I was getting used to the idea of Sarah leaving the nest, I got furloughed, along with thousands of other government employees. I was so freaked out, that I got up and went to the offices of my old company, and worked there full time, doing new projects until I was recalled to work. I couldn’t stand the thought of not doing anything, so I did something. And I was freaked out, because I doubt my landlord would understand the whole “Hey, I got furloughed and don’t have rent money” excuse. Friends and long time readers of this blog came through. You guys really came through, and I truly appreciated every single person who hit that tip jar to help me out of a frightening financial situation and those who offered words of encouragement and support.

Several weeks after Sarah left, I found myself with an amazing new job! The new position is terrific! It’s a challenge. The new team is dedicated and committed to the mission. The days pass very quickly, and I’m still learning nonstop. It’s also a promotion. I’ve been there a month now, and I love every minute!

The Redhead started to drive by himself on 11 December. It’s crazy to see him so tall, so responsible and still my sweet little boy. To me, he will always look like this.

My perfect ginger child

My perfect ginger child

So yeah. It’s been a year of changes. Kids growing up. New job. New marital status. Losses. Gains.

I’m ready for some stability.

Aren’t you?

Happy 2014!

5 responses

  1. You had me laughing at the germiest boob😀

    May next year be better than the last!!

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    1. You betcha! Let’s make a pact to make it great!

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    2. I added a photo of the boob – just for you. Apparently it was only the right boob everyone wanted to touch!

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      1. Because….left is wrong😀

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  2. […] with this camera, and I think I’ve taken some gorgeous shots, some of which you’ve seen here. But my photography has become a rare treat. Most of the time, I’m working hours that are too […]

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